Ridge High School

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Ridge High School
Ridge Logo.gif
268 South Finley Avenue
Basking Ridge, NJ 07920
Type Public high school
Established 1961
School district Bernards Township School District
Principal Frank Howlett
Assistant principals Gina Donlevie
Scott Thompson
Thomas Thorp
Kathleen Dusebout
Faculty 142.9 (on FTE basis)[1]
Enrollment 1,811[1] (as of 2012-13)
Student to teacher ratio 12.67:1[1]
Color(s) Green/White
Athletics conference Skyland Conference
Team name Red Devils

Ridge High School is a four-year comprehensive community public high school serving students in ninth through twelfth grades from Bernards Township in Somerset County, New Jersey, United States, operating as the lone secondary school of the Bernards Township School District. Ridge High School opened in September 1961, ending a relationship under which students from the district had been sent to Bernardsville High School dating back to 1948.[2]

As of the 2012-13 school year, the school had an enrollment of 1,811 students and 142.9 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.67:1. There were 23 students (1.3% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 3 (0.2% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[1]

Awards, recognition and rankings[edit]

During the 1986-87 school year, Ridge High School was awarded the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education,[3] the highest award an American school can receive.[4][5] During the 2009-10 school year, Ridge High School was awarded the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence for a second time.[6]

Ridge High School was the 9th-best public high school in 2012 as rated by the New Jersey Monthly magazine, and was the 194th best high school in the United States as rated by Newsweek, being the top-rated comprehensive high school in New Jersey, beating out other high schools rated higher on the New Jersey Monthly magazine.

In its 2013 report on "America's Best High Schools", The Daily Beast ranked the school 215th in the nation among participating public high schools and 16th overall (ninth among non-magnet schools) in New Jersey.[7] The school was ranked 140th in the nation and eighth in New Jersey on the list of "America's Best High Schools 2012" prepared by The Daily Beast / Newsweek, with rankings based primarily on graduation rate, matriculation rate for college and number of Advanced Placement / International Baccalaureate courses taken per student, with lesser factors based on average scores on the SAT / ACT, average AP/IB scores and the number of AP/IB courses available to students.[8]

In the 2011 "Ranking America's High Schools" issue by The Washington Post, the school was ranked 3rd in New Jersey and 220th nationwide.[9] Ridge High School was ranked 194th, the second-highest in New Jersey, in Newsweek magazine's 2010 rankings of America's Best High Schools.[10] The school was ranked 175th in Newsweek's 2009 ranking of the top 1,500 high schools in the United States and was the third-ranked school in New Jersey, with 3.132 AP tests taken in 2008 per graduating senior and 50% of all graduating seniors passing at least one AP exam; The school was ranked 136th nationwide in 2008.[11] The school was listed in 98th place, the second-highest ranked school in New Jersey in Newsweek's 2007 list of the Top 1,200 Public High Schools in the United States.[12] The school was listed in 116th place, the second-highest ranked school in New Jersey, in the 2006 issue.[13] Ridge High School was ranked as Number 91 in Newsweek's 2005 survey, third-highest in the state for that year.[14]

The school was the 13th-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 339 schools statewide in New Jersey Monthly magazine's September 2014 cover story on the state's "Top Public High Schools", using a new ranking methodology.[15] The school had been ranked 9th in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 12th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.[16] The magazine ranked the school 24th in 2008 out of 316 schools.[17] Before that, the school was ranked 11th in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which included 316 schools across the state.[18] Schooldigger.com ranked the school 27th out of 381 public high schools statewide in its 2011 rankings (an increase of 1 position from the 2010 ranking) which were based on the combined percentage of students classified as proficient or above proficient on the mathematics (95.2%) and language arts literacy (98.0%) components of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA).[19]


Ridge High School competes in the Skyland Conference, which includes public and parochial high schools covering Hunterdon County, Somerset County and Warren County in Central Jersey. The conference operates under the jurisdiction of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA).[20] With 1,378 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2014-15 school year as North II, Group IV for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 1,087 to 3,896 students in that grade range.[21] Sports offered at Ridge include; volleyball, baseball, hockey, football, fencing, basketball, cross country, soccer, gymnastics, cheerleading, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, ski racing, softball, swimming, tennis, track, and wrestling.

An undefeated 2003 season led the girls' soccer team to take the #3 national ranking with a 22-0 record. The girls soccer team won the Group III state championship in 2003 with a 3-0 win over Colts Neck High School and the Group II title in 1996 over West Morris Mendham High School.[22][23]

In 2007, the girls' cross country team finished #3 in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Meet of Champions, and finished #6 in the Northeast Nike Team Regional Championships.[24] The next year, the team finished #2 in the Meet of Champions and won the Section 2 Group 4 Championships and the Group 4 Championships. In 2009, the team got 6th place in the Meet of Champions; in 2010, they took home fourth, and in 2011 they placed 6th in both the Meet of Champions and the Nike Northeast Regional Qualifier. [25][26]

The boy's cross country team finished #4 in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Meet of Champions in 2006. The stellar team finished #6 in the NJSIAA Meet of Champions in 2010.[27]

The ice hockey varsity team participated in the Public division A state championship in 2008, winning 5-0 over Watchung Hills Regional High School.[28]

The boy's varsity ski team won the 2009 New Jersey Interscholastic Ski Racing Association (NJISRA) overall State Championship.[29]

The Ridge Girls lacrosse program consists of a Varsity, Junior Varsity, and Freshman program. The girls varsity lacross program won the 2012, 2013 and 2014 Somerset County Championships. The team's 2014 regular season ending record was 12-3.

Extracurricular activities[edit]

The Ridge High School Forensics Team (Speech and Debate) has had numerous national champions. They have won the New Jersey state tournament each of thirteen years from 2001 to 2014.[30][31]

The school's Marching Band program has won numerous awards and accolades. The program is composed of three groups, the "Ridge Marching Band", competing in the Fall season in the USBands circuit, and the "Ridge Winter Guard" and "Ridge Indoor Percussion Ensemble", which compete in the Winter season in the Mid-Atlantic Indoor Network (MAIN) and USBands Indoor circuits, respectively. The Marching Band placed 6th and 5th at USBands National Championships in 2012 and 2011, respectively. In 2012, despite being ranked 2nd going into National Championships, the band was unable to compete due to the damage in Basking Ridge from Hurricane Sandy. Prior to the creation of the USBands National Championships, the band placed 2nd at the USSBA Northern States Championships in 2005 and 2009, 3rd in 2008, and place in 2007.[32] Since the Winter Guard returned to competition in 2012, the guard has finished as high as 3rd in MAIN championships. The Indoor Percussion Ensemble, launched for the 2013 season, placed 2nd at USBands Indoor Championships with its inaugural program.


The members of the school's administration are:[33]

  • Francis T. Howlett - Principal
  • Gina Donlevie - Assistant Principal
  • Kathleen Dusebout - Assistant Principal
  • Scott Thompson - Assistant Principal
  • Thomas Thorpe - Assistant Principal

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d School Data for Ridge High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed March 29, 2015.
  2. ^ History, Ridge High School. Accessed June 22, 2011.
  3. ^ Blue Ribbon Schools Program: Schools Recognized 1982-1983 through 1999-2002 (PDF), United States Department of Education. Accessed May 11, 2006.
  4. ^ "CIBA cited as one of the best by Education Department", Journal Inquirer, November 16, 2006. "The Blue Ribbon award is given only to schools that reach the top 10 percent of their state's testing scores over several years or show significant gains in student achievement. It is considered the highest honor a school can achieve."
  5. ^ Viers Mill School Wins Blue Ribbon; School Scored High on Statewide Test; The Washington Post. September 29, 2005 "For their accomplishments, all three schools this month earned the status of Blue Ribbon School, the highest honor the U.S. Education Department can bestow upon a school."
  6. ^ 2009 Blue Ribbon Schools: All Public and Private Schools, United States Department of Education. Accessed October 29, 2009.
  7. ^ Streib, Lauren. "America's Best High Schools", The Daily Beast, May 6, 2013. Accessed May 8, 2013.
  8. ^ Staff. "America's Best High Schools 2012", The Daily Beast / Newsweek, May 20, 2012. Accessed May 21, 2012.
  9. ^ Mathews, Jay. "The High School Challenge 2011: Ridge High School", The Washington Post. Accessed July 22, 2011.
  10. ^ Staff. "America's Best High Schools: The List", Newsweek, June 13, 2010. Accessed March 23, 2011.
  11. ^ Staff. "The Top of the Class: The complete list of the 1,500 top U.S. high schools", Newsweek, June 8, 2009. Accessed June 10, 2009.
  12. ^ The Complete List: 1,200 Top U.S. Schools, Newsweek May 22, 2007
  13. ^ The Complete List: 1,200 Top U.S. Schools, Newsweek, May 8, 2006.
  14. ^ "America's Best High Schools", Newsweek, August 5, 2005.
  15. ^ Staff. "Top Schools Alphabetical List 2014", New Jersey Monthly, September 2, 2014. Accessed September 5, 2014.
  16. ^ Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed August 26, 2012.
  17. ^ Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed February 11, 2011.
  18. ^ "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
  19. ^ New Jersey High School Rankings: 11th Grade HSPA Language Arts Literacy & HSPA Math 2010-2011, Schooldigger.com. Accessed February 24, 2012.
  20. ^ League Memberships – 2014-2015, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 23, 2014.
  21. ^ 2014-2015 Public Schools Group Classification: ShopRite Cup–Basketball–Baseball–Softball for North II, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, as of July 8, 2014. Accessed November 23, 2014.
  22. ^ Sebastian, Freddy. "State Champs", Courier-News, November 23, 2003. Accessed June 22, 2011. "It was appropriate that the Ridge High School girls soccer team ended its perfect 22-0 season the way it had hoped Saturday, with a 4-1 rout of Colts Neck, in the Group III championship at The College of New Jersey."
  23. ^ History of NJSIAA Girls Soccer, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed June 22, 2011.
  24. ^ 2007 NIKE TEAM REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS - NEW YORK & NORTHEAST, November 24, 2007. Accessed June 22, 2011.
  25. ^ 2008 NJSIAA/The Star-Ledger/M-F Athletic - Boys and Girls State Group Championships: Group IV Girls, November 16, 2008. Accessed June 22, 2011.
  26. ^ Cross Country State Group Team Champions, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed June 22, 2011.
  27. ^ "2006 NJSIAA/The Star-Ledger Boys and Girls State Cross-Country Championships", Morris County Track Association, November 18, 2006. Accessed June 22, 2011.
  28. ^ Staff. "Ridge takes 2008 Public A State title over Watchung Hills", New Jersey Devils, March 22, 2008, backed up by the Internet Archive as of March 26, 2008. Accessed June 22, 2011. "One season after stumbling in the semifinals of the NJSIAA tournament, the Red Devils got 22 saves from Bill Higley for a 5-0 shutout win over the Watchung Hills Warriors in their 2008 Public A High School Ice Hockey Championship on Saturday."
  29. ^ Staff. "Carroll sparks Ridge to boys' team title; Vernon girls' have Merritt (High school Boys Skiing news)", The Star-Ledger, February 28, 2009. Accessed July 22, 2011. "Ridge, behind Carroll and fellow seniors Merritt Branch, Chris Samuels, Spud Faison and James Needell, captured its first overall team title in a combined 9:20.38 at the New Jersey Interscholastic Ski Racing Association championships at Hidden Valley yesterday in Vernon."
  30. ^ 2005 National Results, National Forensic League. Accessed June 22, 2011.
  31. ^ Sadlouskos, Linda. "School Board Recognizes 2010-11 Forensics Team: Forensics Team, state champions for 10th year in a row, are honored at Monday Board of Education meeting.", BaskingRidgePatch, June 21, 2011. Accessed June 22, 2011. "The Ridge Forensics Team, an interscholastic speech and debate team, captured its tenth consecutive State Championship team title this past spring at the 2011 New Jersey Forensic League Championships."
  32. ^ Competition Results, Ridge Marching Band.
  33. ^ Administration, Ridge High School. Accessed November 23, 2014.
  34. ^ Staff. "Film by Ridge High alum, J.C. Chandor, critically accclaimed at Cannes", The Bernardsville News, May 24, 2013. Accessed June 19, 2013. "Chandor, a 1992 Ridge High School graduate, wrote and directed his first feature-length film released in 2011, the critically acclaimed Margin Call, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Original Screenplay category."
  35. ^ "Chris Daggett, Independent candidate for governor of NJ, to deliver policy address, Oct. 7", Princeton university. Accessed December 1, 2012. "Daggett, a lifelong resident of New Jersey, was born in Orange, and moved to Linwood before settling in Bernards Township. He attended Ridge High School, graduated from the University of North Carolina with a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies and the University of Massachusetts with a doctorate in education."
  36. ^ Birkby, Robert. Mountain Madness: Scott Fischer, Mount Everest & a Life Lived on High , Citadel Press, 2009. ISBN 0-8065-2876-1, p. 21. Accessed February 11, 2011. "Scott liked school and developed an interest in theater, taking part in The Crucible and appearing on the stage at Ridge High School dressed as a Puritan."
  37. ^ Jarryd Goldberg, Boston College Eagles. accessed February 11, 2011. "Earned All-State, All-Area and All-Conference honors as a senior midfielder at Ridge High School"
  38. ^ Mueller, Mark. "Families savor a great day for 'the Jersey girls'", The Star-Ledger, August 22, 2008. Accessed February 11, 2011. "Heath's family could not be reached yesterday, but Todd Hebden, who coached her as a sophomore and junior at Ridge High School in Basking Ridge, said he wasn't surprised Heath had made it to the national team and the Olympics."
  39. ^ Perry, W. Jacob. "Ridge grad loses bid for U.S. Senate seat", The Bernardsville News, December 18, 2009. Accessed February 11, 2011. "The local alumni, Steve Pagliuca, 54, who was in the Ridge High Class of 1973, placed fourth in a contest triggered by the death of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy on Aug. 25."

External links[edit]

National Center for Education Statistics Coordinates: 40°41′42″N 74°32′56″W / 40.695006°N 74.548904°W / 40.695006; -74.548904